Выбранный для просмотра документ English traditions.doc
So many countries so many customs, an English proverb says. We cannot really imagine Britain without all its traditions which have always been an important part of people’s life and work.
England has preserved its old ceremonies and traditions to a greater extend than any other country in the world. They can be classified into several groups: traditions concerning the Englishmen private life; state traditions; national holidays, religious holidays and public festivals. There are numerous royal traditions, some are ancient and others are modern.
English tradition of the fairy world is long and rich. There were different ideas about where fairies came from, and what caused them to live with humans.
Fairies were thought to be extremely beautiful, but their dark hair and skin represented, to the medieval mind, their dark nature.
Fairies were responsible for all sorts of mishaps, from tangled hair, missing needles and leading humans astray to paralyzing people or animals, causing serious illness and even death.
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Fairies were known to abduct people, babies before baptism in particular. When a fairy stole a human baby, she left a fairy baby in its place– the changeling child. The unfortunate children who were labeled as changeling babies could have a very tough time – it was believed that changelings were soulless and could be killed with impunity.
That’s why there was a tradition of watching over a newborn baby every minute until it was a couple of months old. To guard their children before baptism against evil spirits women placed garlic, bread, and steel in the form of some sharp instrument in the cradle or over the door. In terms of protective charms Englishmen wore clothing inside out. Before going out into a fairy-haunted place, it was customary to put a piece of dry bread in one’s pocket.
Belief in fairies was deliberately instilled by adults as a way of controlling children and ensuring their safety by threats of danger from a bogey figures, e.g. Jenny Greenteeth.
Medieval fairies were in and around people’s homes, part of everyday life. They were particularly sensitive to mess and disorder, and were known to punish people who were untidy and dirty.
Their favourite food was milk and cream. The association with cleanliness is obvious. And keeping the fairies supplied with what they wanted was a way to protect oneself from the evil deeds.
On the other hand, fairies were also believed to bestow gifts and help industrious and generous people as a reward. William Shakespeare altered the perception of the beings forever, by making fairies more fun, friendly, and less of a threat to people. (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Before the mid 19th Century fairies especially pixies were taken seriously in much of Cornwall and Devon. Even within living memory, some rural families left small gifts for the pixies in order to placate them.
In some regions, belief in pixies has endured into contemporary times. During the construction of Hinkley Point nuclear power station, anything that went wrong was blamed on "the Pixy," with the station being built near Wick's Barrow, an Iron Age burial mound called "Pixies Mound" by the locals.
There were reports of pixie sightings in the UK in the Woodham area of County Durham in 2001. In 2007 there was another pixie sighting in Sandy, Bedfordshire.
Nowadays Fairies still continue to live in imagination of such wonderful people as Joan Rowling, Michael Apted, David Yates, Emma Watson … I think it’s a wonderful tradition to remind people of this exciting magic world of fairies.
It is common knowledge that the English are a nation of stay-at-homes. They say "My house is my castle" because they don't wish their doings to be overlooked by their neighbours.
It is true that English people prefer small houses, built for one family.
The fire is the focus of the English Home. The fireplace is the natural centre of interest in the room. They like to sit round the fire and watch the dancing flames, exchanging the day's experience. In many houses you will still see fireplaces, sometimes with columns on each side and a shelf above it on which there is often a clock or a mirror or photos.
You'll find no bare, painted walls in English country homes. Wallpaper with floral patterns is used as it makes the house cozy and nice.
The love of gardens is deep-rooted in the English people. Most men's conversations are about gardens. It may be a discussion of the best methods of growing cucumbers, a talk about the plot which differs from all the others. The British like growing plants in a window-box outside the kitchen or in the garden near the house. They love flowers very much.
The English garden style is full of natural charm created by an abundance of colorful, untamed plant life. Winding pathways surrounded by flourishing plants are an essential part of English gardens. Ponds and natural waterfalls are scenic additions to English gardens and are inviting to birds, frogs, and other wildlife.
Outdoor furniture with a weathered appearance is typical. Hardwood or teak garden furniture typically complements the English garden style.
In conclusion I would like to say that it is through various customs and traditions that the nation and its culture can be preserved, they connect and unite people of different generations. Moreover, studying traditions of other countries we can understand each other better. So it is important to respect and keep them up.
Выбранный для просмотра документ English traditions.ppt
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